Individuals can now register .cn domains, but domain registrars may still be cautious about offering the domains.
After clamping down on .cn domain registrations a few years ago, China is beginning to open up its country code top level domain again.
Yesterday China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the registry for .cn domain names, announced that registration would again be available to individuals instead of just businesses.
CNNIC announced restrictions on .cn domain registrations in December 2009. This included only allowing businesses to register domains. It then abruptly announced that non-Chinese domain registrars would no longer be allowed to register .cn domain names. It later considered reversing course, but required registrars to collect personal information about each registrant including a color headshot photo identification, business identification (including a Chinese business registration number), and physical signed registration forms from the registrant.
Go Daddy, the world’s largest domain name registrar, decided not to reinstate .cn registration capabilities in light of these requirements. It said its reasons were less financial than concerns about handing over this personal information.
Mostly as a result of a crackdown on .cn registrants, .cn registrations fell from a peak of 14 million to just over 3 million.
Now that CNNIC has reopened registrations for individuals, will Go Daddy start offering .cn registrations again? I reached out to Go Daddy earlier today for comment.
Rich Merdinger, Vice President of Product Development – Domains, released the following statement:
We are monitoring recent developments with CNNIC involving domain name registrations. We will also be listening to our customers about their demand for .CN domain names.
My guess is registrars remain cautious about offering .cn.
This is great for the Internet world, China is one of the main regions for the Internets expansion, and with the emerging markets of other Asian regions, the .cn domain extension will become one of the top sought after extensions.
Registrars are not openly covering this exctension, but you can do a search and compare on your domain name at http://www.domainwright.com and select a registrar from the search results, which are sorted on price order.